Devoted to Peace and Science: Celebrating Antarctica Day
Today—December 1—is Antarctica Day, a day that celebrates the signing of the Antarctic Treaty in 1959. The treaty designates Antarctica as a “natural reserve, devoted to peace and science.” Today, we spotlight a few CFANS faculty members who have contributed to a better understanding of Antarctica.
|Ornithologist Sushma Reddy looked into differences between Gentoo penguins, which her team then reclassified as four new species of penguin. Last year, Sushma was part of an expedition to the Southern Ocean to study penguins.
|Plant pathologist Robert Blanchette conducted research in Antarctica, working to help identify the microbes that cause deterioration on the historic wooden huts built by explorers Robert Scott and Ernest Shackleton. He’s also researched deadly fungi present in Antarctica dating back to the Pleistocene.
|Climate scientist Heidi Roop and glaciologist Peter Neff are part of the leadership team of the Center for Oldest Ice Exploration (COLDEX), which aims to “to explore Antarctica for the oldest possible polar ice samples and analyze those samples to understand the evolution and future of Earth’s climate system.” Peter was in West Antarctica earlier this austral summer, leading a research expedition to collect million-year-old ice.